Top 15 Ingredients to Avoid In Skincare At All Costs

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As we learn more and more about skincare and staying conscious, it has become immensely necessary to know what ingredients are bad for the skin than what makes our skin healthy and radiant.

While following a skincare routine, we know that we need several products every day that help our skin stay dirt-free, hydrated, smooth, protected from sun rays, etc.

Ingredients to Avoid In Skincare

While following a skincare routine, we rarely realize what ingredients go into our skin and body every day.

Let’s have a look at such ingredients to avoid in skincare, which our body takes through products affecting our skin negatively.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Mostly found in: Foundation, Facewash

Sodium lauryl sulfate has many negative impacts on the skin, including skin irritation, eye damage, acne, oil, etc. So the next time you are buying any products, make sure you check the back label on the product, and if it is there, better to choose another product.


Mostly found in: Most skincare products

Parabens are mostly used for keeping your skincare products fresh and free of germs. This ingredient is known to have affected the production of hormones and reproductive functions as well.


Mostly found in: Deodorants, Soaps

Triclosan is said to have been working as a skin irritant in most. According to some studies, it tends to lead to gut inflammation and tumor growth.

Apart from the effect on the skin, it also causes a threat to the environment itself.


Mostly found in: Powders/talcum powders

Talc is the softest naturally occurring mineral, which is why our skincare or body care talcum powder products are so soft. Talc is found in baby care products as well.

It is quite a well-known incident when a 35-year-old woman died of ovarian cancer and Johnson & Johnson was blamed.


Mostly found in: Lipsticks, Eyeliners, Foundations

While lead isn’t necessarily added to the lipsticks directly, it is added in the colorants in the lipsticks. Lead is another metal found in the earth’s crust and almost unavoidable in our everyday life. As we are always exposed to this metal in our food, air, water, etc. Perhaps, it is better to commit to using a bit less on the products that we can.


Mostly found in: Most skincare products

This is another ingredient used as preservatives in skincare products. You will find this ingredient mostly in nail colors, hair gels, lotions, etc. It is known to have toxins and impacts hair loss, scalp issues, neurotoxicity, etc


Mostly found in: Body wash, Shampoos

Diethanolamine is of the other toxic skincare ingredients which help the products like shampoo and body wash have a foaming effect. This agent is known to be cancer-causing and causes respiratory problems.


Mostly found in: Facial wipes, Nail paints, Creams, Lotions

Commonly used as a solvent in skincare products, this ingredient helps absorb the products better on the skin. However, alcohol will dry out your skin fast enough.


Mostly found in: Lip balms, Vaseline

It is nearly impossible to stay without using some amount of petrolatum in your skin, especially during the winter. It helps our skin or lips stay moistured by preventing the moisture from escaping our skin. But at the same time, it prevents moisture from getting into the skin as well. This is when it causes a problem.

Artificial Fragrance

Mostly found in: Perfumes, Deodrant, Moisturizers, Cleansers, Face wash

Almost all skincare products contain artificial fragrance, which is known to have been associated with respiratory disorders, allergies, reproductive organ issues, etc. Next time try to opt for products that are not using artificial fragrances, as they are potential carcinogens.


Mostly found in: Nail Colour, Hair Dyes
Toluene is a petrochemical solvent, which is a volatile substance. It is mostly known to be toxic to the immune system and also may cause congenital disabilities. Pregnant women are recommended not to use such products.


Mostly found in: Sunscreens

Sunscreens are probably one of the most necessary skincare products. And to protect our skin from effective sun rays, it uses chemicals like oxybenzone. This chemical is known to cause issues in the endocrine and the functioning of the thyroid.


Mostly found in: Hairspray, Nail colors

Phthalates are mostly found in products like hairspray and nail paints, which helps in the products’ flexibility and softness. This chemical also helps the products to stick to the surface applied. This chemical, too, is known to have causes of kidneys, lungs, reproductive systems.

Synthetic Colors

Mostly found in: Pigmented lipsticks, Eyeshadows

Synthetic colors are known to be derived from coal tar and this type of chemicals are the culprits behind skin irritation, breakouts, etc. While this might not cause life-threatening conditions, yet it is another of the skincare ingredients to avoid.


Mostly found in: Most cosmetics, Creams, Sunscreens, etc.

PEGs are used in most cosmetic products. While they are not necessarily bad for your skin, some conditions like poor manufacturing might lead to the contamination of carcinogenic compounds.


I recently came across COSMILY, a website that helps one analyze the ingredients in skincare and makeup products. It also allows you to check the safety levels and positive effects of a particular product.

Seeing the list, it might feel that it will be hard to find products that would lack all of the toxic ingredients altogether, but actually, the answer is not that difficult. Commit to using fewer products or unnecessary products and opt for good brands, although it might be a bit expensive than the average.

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